The most Instagrammable picnic spots in Kent, including Knole Park and Bewl Water

It’s National Picnic Week from Saturday, June 18 to Sunday, June 26.

To celebrate, we’ve picked some of Kent’s most Instagrammable picnic spots for you to enjoy this summer…

Have lunch with the wild deer at Instagram hotspot Knole Park
Have lunch with the wild deer at Instagram hotspot Knole Park

Knole Park, Sevenoaks

With a whopping 32,000 tags on Instagram, Knole Park makes the top of our list. This picturesque park is one of the few places in the county where you can sit among wild deer and enjoy your picnic surrounded by these lovable animals. With more than 1,000 acres of parkland, the 350-strong wild sika and fallow deer herd freely roam the area and can make a stunning photo opportunity. The deer park sits within the Knole Park estate, which also includes grand courtyards and 400 year old showrooms.

Where: Knole Park Estate, Sevenoaks, TN15 0RP

When: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm

Find out more online here.

Mote Park has walking trails, lakes and woodland. Picture: Maidstone Council
Mote Park has walking trails, lakes and woodland. Picture: Maidstone Council

Mote Park, Maidstone

Maidstone’s much-visited Mote Park makes the list with almost 20,000 Instagram tags. The park, which is home to a number of summer events this year including Foodies Festival, Mote Park Proms with Katherine Jenkins and Rock the Mote, sees visitors come from all over the county. The large 450 acre green includes peaceful woodlands, cycling trails, children’s play areas and a beautiful 30 acre lake - the perfect spot to lay down your picnic blanket on a summer’s day.

Where: Mote Avenue, Maidstone, ME15 7SU

When: Monday to Sunday, 8am to dusk

Find out more online here.

Look out over Bewl Water as you enjoy your al fresco lunch
Look out over Bewl Water as you enjoy your al fresco lunch

Bewl Water, near Tunbridge Wells

Next up on the list, with almost 19,000 tags on Instagram, is charming countryside park Bewl Water. The half-mile scenic walk takes visitors along vibrant forest paths and winding country lanes, with stunning views across the water, so it’s hardly surprising that people have snapped plenty of photos here. The whole trail takes around six hours to complete, so it’s definitely worth bringing your picnic along and taking a well-earned break along the way as you take in the views and fresh country air.

Where: Bewlbridge Lane, Lamberhurst TN3 8JH

When: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 5pm

Find out more online here.

Bedgebury Pinetum has more than 12,000 trees for you to walk beneath. Picture: David Jenner
Bedgebury Pinetum has more than 12,000 trees for you to walk beneath. Picture: David Jenner

Bedgebury, near Tunbridge Wells

Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is known across the county for its annual Christmas light trail, which is a great photo opportunity and has no doubt helped the attraction rack up more than 17,000 Instagram tags. For the rest of the year, the pinetum is home to an incredible collection of conifers with more than 12,000 trees, while the forest has miles of cycling, walking and running trails and a Go Ape treetop adventure. Both are truly beautiful spots to enjoy a picnic with the whole family this summer.

Where: Lady Oak Lane, Goudhurst, TN17 2SJ

When: Monday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm

Find out more online here.

Samphire Hoe has views of the English Channel and White Cliffs, as well as an abundance of wildlife. Picture: KM reporter
Samphire Hoe has views of the English Channel and White Cliffs, as well as an abundance of wildlife. Picture: KM reporter

Samphire Hoe, Dover

This 30-hectare nature reserve is home to 200 species of plants, 220 species of birds and 30 species of butterflies, so there’s lots to take photos of here, which explains its 7,600 tags on Instagram. If the diverse wildlife isn’t enough to convince you to bring your picnic to Samphire Hoe, the reserve has received 16 Green Flag awards and 6 South and South East in Bloom awards for its stunning natural beauty. Not to mention, the paths provide amazing views over the English Channel and the White Cliffs.

Where: Samphire Road, Dover, CT17 9FL

When: Monday to Sunday, 7am to 7pm

Find out more online here.

Elmley Nature Reserve is the perfect place to spot local wildlife after lunch
Elmley Nature Reserve is the perfect place to spot local wildlife after lunch

Elmley Nature Reserve, Sheerness

This spectacular nature reserve is 3,300 acres of wonderful wilderness and, thanks to its breathtaking views and natural beauty, has gained more than 6,300 Instagram tags. During the summer, the spring chicks become mature enough to take their first flights, butterflies and bees hover near the sea walls, dragonflies flit around the ponds and the marshes are in full bloom with lavender and sea purslane creating a beautiful meadow. It’s a fantastic time to visit and spend a few hours with a picnic lunch and your camera.

Where: Kingshill Farm, Isle of Sheppey, ME12 3RW

When: Sundays, 11am to 6pm, and select dates from 9am to 5pm

Find out more online here.

Canterbury's Westgate Gardens are full of picture perfect summer flowers. Picture: GW Press
Canterbury's Westgate Gardens are full of picture perfect summer flowers. Picture: GW Press

Westgate Parks, Canterbury

Set beyond Canterbury’s historic Westgate Towers, these delightful parks and gardens - which have been tagged on Instagram almost 6,000 times - are a hidden gem in the city. The tranquil River Great Stour runs through the centre of the park, while the four parks, including the colourful Westgate Gardens, Tannery Field, Toddler’s Cove and Bingley Island Nature Reserve, welcome visitors all summer long. After your picnic, let the children loose in the Roman-themed play area or take a punt along the river for a different view of the parks.

Where: St Peter's Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BQ

When: Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Find out more online here.

Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Quex Park. Picture: Keith Dunmall
Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Quex Park. Picture: Keith Dunmall

Quex Park, Birchington-on-Sea

This coastal park is home to a craft village, garden centre, the Powell-Cotton Museum and almost 5,500 Instagram tags. Take a seat on the vast green and tuck into your picnic as you watch over farmyard animals such as alpacas, goats, ponies, pigs and chickens, more than 80 species of birds that have been spotted at the park and the 2,000 new trees that have been planted over the past few years. Once you’ve packed up your picnic, you can enjoy a round of adventure golf, walk with alpacas or play at the outdoor playground.

Where: Park Lane, Birchington-on-Sea, CT7 0BH

When: Monday to Sunday, all day (attractions have individual opening times)

Find out more online here.

Make your picnic perfect with some top tips.
Make your picnic perfect with some top tips.

If you’re heading out for a family picnic this week, make sure you follow these top tips for a perfect picnic lunch…

1. Keep your food from spilling, transport it easily from place to place and be more environmentally friendly by storing your picnic in lidded glass jars.

2. In order to have a more sustainable picnic, try to pack real plates and, if that’s not an option, bring compostable disposable plates with you.

3. If possible, use beeswax wraps for your food. These are reusable, compostable and biodegradable.

4. Have a cool box with you so you can keep the food fresh and the drinks ice cold.

5. Pack some fun board games to play - there won’t be a single moment of boredom!

6. Don’t forget to bring wet wipes for cleaning your hands, or even plates, and bin bags as well, so that all rubbish can be easily disposed of.

7. Pack a chopping board for your picnic - it's always handy to have a flat surface to chop or place food on.

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